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What is Interaction Design, and How Does it Relate to UX/UI?
In 2023, people are able to maintain concentration for an average of 9 seconds, as a result of processing huge amounts of information that we get bombarded with every day.
Scientists have called modern users “goldfish”, because we quickly lose interest in everything, easily switch our attention, and prefer to watch a YouTube video, rather than read any text.
Business goes to various tricks to stay in the information field of a person for longer than 9 seconds. Bright shows, gamification, memes are only some of the methods used. Interactive design, although not new,has recently become more effective, let’s understand why.
What is interaction design?
Interaction design is a crucial component of the broader field of user experience (UX), which encompasses all aspects of a user's interaction with a product or service. User interface (UI) design is a subset of UX design that focuses specifically on the visual and interactive elements of a product, such as buttons, menus, and forms.
Interaction design is concerned with designing the behaviour of a product or service, including how users interact with it, how it responds to their actions, and how it communicates with them. This includes designing the overall flow of a user's experience, as well as specific interactions such as gestures, clicks, and keyboard inputs.
As such, interaction design falls under the umbrella of UX design, as it is a critical aspect of creating a positive user experience. However, it also overlaps with UI design, as it involves designing the visual and interactive elements that users interact with on the screen.
Therefore, interaction design is a core aspect of UX/UI and is crucial for creating products and services that are easy to use, engaging, and effective at meeting the needs of their users.
Where and how is Interaction Design used?
On Behance, under the "interactive design" tag, you can find a variety of works - from interfaces to large-scale installations. They have one thing in common: designers use non-standard scenarios, storytelling and “hooks” that intrigue the user and prevent them from switching to something else.
In the interface
For example, the design of interactive interfaces always involves animation. Eye movement is usually best captured on individual elements - icons, logos, call to action buttons. By creating smooth animation, the designer makes the user experience more enjoyable.
Gamification is also a ‘goldfish hook’. Gamification is a technique which designers use to insert gameplay elements in non-gaming settings, so they enhance user engagement with a product or service. By weaving suitably fun features such as leaderboards and badges into an existing system, it increases the retention rate by 9%, as designers tap users' intrinsic motivations so they enjoy using it more.
Businesses, especially young but eager start ups, have long used this technique to increase sales, attract the attention of new customers and increase their loyalty. For example, when starting out, Revolut had university leaderboards that encouraged students to sign up, as well as video-game-like graphics and colourful images, which it continues to use up to this day. This taps into the need for social relatedness. Simply put, competition is fun. In addition, the prize of free premium is enough to keep users around for the long haul, and not "withdraw" to other companies.
Making the interface pleasant and interesting for the user is the task of our designers who are responsible for the web and UX / UI. They keep track of current trends in the industry and use them in their work.
Interactive web design serves the interests of business, which is why we so often see animation and gamification elements on websites. Moreover, a separate direction has recently developed - media design.
Credit Karma is an American multinational personal finance company founded on March 8, 2007. Everyone has access to free, frequently updated credit reports and scores from Equifax and TransUnion. In addition to helping users catch problems early, improve their credit, and learn more about finances, credit reports also allow them to keep an eye on their credit reports regularly, keeping up with any errors that may occur.
In 2019 Credit Karma was entering an exciting new chapter for its business. They were planning to expand their financial services to the United Kingdom. Taking a marketing perspective, Credit Karma understood Ko that they needed to communicate the value of their services in a way that resonated with their prospective customers. So, to provide a well-informed perspective about their work, Credit Karma hired a UK marketing research company to do a market survey.
How was their UX special, and what can we learn from?
- Demographic intelligence
They first dedicated resources to conduct very expensive research on the chosen demographic. The study found that the British are generally confused about the importance of good credit and have high expectations for how companies manage digital privacy and use personal financial data. These insights would ultimately inform their UX team thinking on the marketing website.
- The Marketing Experience
The marketing experience consisted of the home page, about page, login page and registration experience.
Credit Karma's landing page design was created to display marketing messaging that communicated the primary product offering, demonstrated a digital tool for improving personal finances, and provided potential customers with an instant way to sign up. A second goal of the landing page was to provide existing customers with a clear way to log in, and to inform undecided customers about Credit Karma's value.
- The Product Experience
The product experience consisted of: a dashboard for logged in customers, which showed an overview of their credit score and financial tools for credit score improvement; account and privacy settings; password recovery; and emailed credit score notifications.
Throughout the entire product experience, the graphic system for how Credit Karma's most important offering would be displayed was aligned to focus on the credit score number itself and communicate Credit Karma's most important offering quickly.
What features or Credit Karma’s UX are worth learning from?
- Financial dashboards are clearly separated by categories with relevant information on the latest interactions and/or actions.
- All Suggestions are tailored, based on the provided information.
- The visual and coloured comparison of credit scores is quickly understood by the user.
- When the user shares personal information with the site, a clear description of where the information came from and how it was collected provides a sense of security and trust.
In media and news outlets.
Interactive Design is the know-how of mass media and news outlets, as they require to keep the attention of subscribers in the information flow most. In simple words, media design is a way to make content interactive, that is, interesting enough to make you want to read or watch it till the end.
The main principles of interactive design in media websites.
Storytelling - used to make the process of telling the news to the public more interesting, for example, when Bloomberg makes a comic about the confrontation between two politicians is an example of interactive design.
- Infographics - are used to visually show the scale of events, to revive dry statistics. For example, used by Longread about the future of the US economy from NYT;
- Gamification - to convey the idea through the game. For example, that sports should be inclusive;
- Animation and illustrations - to make the readers feel empathy, for example, athletes faced with violence in water polo, as written in New York Times.
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